Normandy’s location in Northern France is like a beret perched askew on a Frenchman’s head. French artists flocked to the coast to soak in the beaches and soft-green landscapes bathed in shifting light.
For several years Monet visited the seaside resort of Etretat to paint the white cliffs, beach and fishing boats. You can stand in the exact location along the beach looking at the cliffs of Aval. This is where Monet painted the rock arch and needle sculptures jutting into the sea. He painted in all light and weather conditions. Don’t miss an exhilarating, windy walk along the green hillsides above the precipitous cliffs. This is where you’ll find the best views of vast sky, sea, and beach.
“I count on doing a large canvas of the cliffs of Etretat, although it is certainly bold of me to do that after Courbet who did it admirably, but I will try to do it differently …” Claude Monet, January 1883
The Impressionist’s Honfleur
The port of Honfleur attracted many English, Romantic and Impressionist painters, including Turner, Boudin, Corot, Courbet, Pissaro, Braque, Seurat, and Bonnard. They were captivated by the light of the bay, the old streets, the lighthouse and Sainte-Catherine church.
Monet visited Honfleur many times and painted numerous canvasses here including the bell-tower, Le clocher Sainte Catherine. Take time to absorb the fine workmanship of the interior as well as the exterior of the half-timbered Sainte Catherine. It is the oldest wooden church in France. In the center of the old town a long dock with colorful yachts punctuates the picturesque harbor built in the 17th century. Across the water half-timbered and slate-front homes, open-air cafes and restaurants vie for your attention. Unlike Le Havre, which was almost entirely bombed during World War II, Honfleur escaped the destruction . The streets and locations painted by the 19th-century artists have been well preserved.
Food, wine, cheese and Calvados
Gastronomically sophisticated travelers love Normandy for its“I count on doing a large canvas of the cliffs of Etretat, although it is certainly bold of me to do that after Courbet who did it admirably, but I will try to do it differently …” Claude Monet, January 1883
Normandy is the land of cows, butter and seafood. The croissants, cream sauces and fresh seafood are part of the pleasure of traveling here.
Helpful Websites: http://www.normandy-tourism.org http://www.seine-maritime-tourisme.com http://www.calvados-tourisme.comhttp://www.manchetourisme.com www.rouenvalleedeseine.com Outstanding Restaurants Rouen: www.lacouronne.com.fr/and www.le-sixiemesens.fr Etretat : www.allchateaux.com/hotelledonjon.html In the Pays D’Auge: www.auberge-des-deux-tonneaux.abcsalles.com